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Extended Library opening hours

By Curtin Library 29 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

You asked, we listened! From Tuesday 2 June we’ll be extending our hours at TL Robertson Library.

The Library will be open 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and we’ll also be opening on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm for Curtin students and staff for individual study.

During this time, the building will be accessible via swipe card and services will also be available via our online and phone channels. Agreeing to physical distancing measures are a condition of entry and we encourage everyone to take care of themselves by looking out for others.

For those not coming onto campus, the Library will continue to offer some services remotely or in an adapted format. You can view the full list here.

We’re all in this together and we’re proud to be here for you during these extraordinary times.

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WA Day opening hours

By Curtin Library 28 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

TL Robertson Library will be closed and unavailable for study on WA Day, Monday 1 June 2020. Our phone and online help service will also be unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Our online FAQs and guides will be available, check these out if you need help.

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Suggestion: Expanded opening hours

By Curtin Library 27 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box:

Hello! I hope you are doing well. I have a suggestion to make about the current library opening hours. Though it is true that we are not attending classes at uni, and the amount of students present at campus is minimum, I do have to say that the current situation is a bigger reason to keep the library open 24/7. Many of us are international students who live in small apartments with other international students, and it is really difficult to study. Also, by the time our online classes finish, the library is closed and we can’t longer have a quiet space where to complete our assignments. Universities like UWA are open 24/7, but only to their staff and students. And Curtin should do the same. Thanks and I am looking forward to hearing back from you!

The Library responds:

It’s great to hear that you’re looking forward to getting back into the Library to continue your studies.

The Library continues to follow the advice of the State and Federal Governments to ensure the health and safety of Curtin students and staff, and we are looking at how we can increase our opening hours for the lead up to and during exam periods, while continuing to stay in line with COVID -19 restrictions.

We hope to update details on the Library website very soon.

Barbara Parnaby

Manager, Client Engagement

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Suggestion: Language Filter

By Curtin Library 26 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…
Are you able to add a language filter to the catalogue search so that when I am making a search I can restrict it to only English articles and not include languages I can’t speak?

The Library responds…
Thank you for your suggestion. We will investigate and see if this is possible.

David Wells
Curtin Library

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Certitude online game launch

By Curtin Library 18 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

Join us for the official online launch of Certitude, Curtin University Library’s new narrative-based digital game.


Date: Monday 25 May 2020
3.30pm – 4.30pm
Venue: Online, register to get a link to the online session.
Register: Via Eventbrite

Certitude is Curtin University Library’s new narrative-based digital game designed and created by students, for students.

Certitude aims to help players develop academic skills by introducing them to concepts around referencing, plagiarism, critical thinking, and the importance of using accurate sources of information.

In the first half of the session we will introduce you to the rationale behind the design of the game. We’ll also take you through a brief demo and highlight some of the game’s features.

The second half of the session will be open for questions and discussion about the game, and why games are a great way to learn.

You are welcome to take a sneak peak before the launch.

Register via Eventbrite to receive a link to the online Webex session.

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Update: Library site catalogue search box now available

By Curtin Library 13 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

12:02pm update: The catalogue search box is now available again. Happy researching!

11:45am: The catalogue search box on the Library site is temporarily unavailable. Maintenance is currently being done across the website and this function will return shortly.

At this time, the catalogue is still available and can be accessed directly here.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

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Meet Vanessa

By Curtin Library 12 May 2020 News & events 2 Comments »

Vanessa Varis is our new Health Sciences Faculty Librarian. We asked her some questions to learn more about her role and her thoughts on starting with Curtin University Library.

Vanessa Varis

Hi Vanessa, welcome to Curtin! Can you describe your role in a few sentences?

I support the teaching and research needs of academic staff and research students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. More specifically, this includes providing advice and training on using scholarly sources and tools, delivering research workshops, promoting Library resources, and communicating with the Faculty to understand and fulfil their specific information requirements.

How does your role help students?

A large part of my role is working closely with staff and HDR students to develop effective search strategies for their systematic and literature reviews. This includes providing advice on where to search, how to search, finding grey literature, and managing search results. I find this to be a highly interesting task as I am exposed to many different research topics. Being able to assist with investigations and studies that may go on to help achieve Curtin’s vision of becoming a recognised global leader in research, education and engagement is really rewarding.

What have been some highlights for you in starting your role?

My biggest highlights so far include being welcomed in to the Faculty Librarian team with open arms, as well as being able to job-share with the current Health Sciences Faculty Librarian, Diana Blackwood. I consider myself fortunate to be working with such an experienced and knowledgeable group of information professionals, and I am especially excited and eager to absorb and learn all I can from Diana.

What else are you looking forward to this year?

My goal for the year is to be able to meet and work with my colleagues and clients in person! I started at Curtin several days before the Library closed down due to COVID-19, which has made putting names to faces just a little more difficult. Of course, I have been meeting with staff and students virtually, and becoming a Microsoft Teams and Webex pro, but nothing really beats a face-to-face encounter.

I’m also looking forward to spending time on the Bentley campus and discovering new food vans, events and visiting the John Curtin Gallery.

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Scaling up our online classes

By Curtin Library 12 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Curtin University recently moved to teaching courses online. To ensure students get the library and learning support they need, we’ve been moving quickly to ensure our classes and sessions are also available online.

Amanda and Lesh online workshop

Thankfully, the Library has had lots of practice running online classes. Our past offerings have been popular with students who live far away from campus or want the convenience of learning off campus.

For example, our librarians have used Blackboard Collaborate Ultra since 2016 to provide workshops to students unable to attend sessions offered at Curtin’s Perth campus. More recently in 2019 online UniPASS sessions were trialled, which recreated the collaborative, peer learning environment crucial for their success.

However, the current situation provides unique challenges, as online classes must be taught from home rather than on campus and students don’t have the choice to attend a class in-person.

Learning Success Advisor Tracy Piper has taught a number of online classes since the closedown, and recommends encouraging students to use the equipment and tools available to them.

“Getting students to use web cams and microphones, as well as drawing and text tools, the chat function and in-built polling function helps encourage student interaction. Beginning a session with an easy and interactive activity can put students at ease in using the technology and asking questions of the presenter,” says Tracy.

“Because running an online session solo can be challenging, whenever possible we conduct online sessions with two presenters. Having a support person available to answer questions from students improves the quality and flow of an online session,” she adds.

So far, student attendance at workshops and online sessions has been high – an average of 16.1 students in online sessions since the campus closedown, compared to 16.9 students per session in face-to-face workshops prior to the closedown. This is encouraging for the Library and our facilitators.

The library online

Some teams are dealing with the additional challenge of becoming proficient in different communication platforms. Our Faculty Librarians have conducted online training in Blackboard Collaborate, attended events in Zoom and have had consultations with students in Skype. While these platforms are similar, knowing their features inside-out makes for a more fluid and engaging session.

With sessions going well, the team has found that an unintended advantage to running all activities online has been that “distance” students are able to participate equally with “on campus” students.

Science and Engineering Faculty Librarian Linden Hall notes how working online has provided new insights and empathy into how students are feeling during this time.

“There is certainly a sense of us all now experiencing the life of a PhD student – working alone, trying to avoid distractions and focussing intensely on the job at hand. We have found that, far from being a flat, two dimensional experience, working online has brought with it a level of social interaction and intimacy that has surprised us all. The key has been flexibility – adapting to the format which our clients are most comfortable with,” says Linden.

We acknowledge that online delivery of classes is different from our face-to-face experience, but our staff are working hard to provide support to our students in whatever way possible.

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Staying resourced: keeping up collection access

By Curtin Library 12 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

The restriction of access to the Library print collections has been certainly disruptive to the provision of normal library services.

To continue to meet the needs of staff and students, the Collections team has been actively exploring options to mitigate the impacts upon services.


Many of our suppliers have provided us with temporary free access to additional information resources during the crisis. The team has been busy ensuring that the necessary activations have been set up and that links have been added to our Temporary Resource Access page.

In addition we have reviewed the print items in the High Demand collection to make sure we have ebook versions of items required for learning and teaching whenever possible.  We have also been answering queries about access to ebooks, and monitoring usage of existing holdings to improve access when possible.

Document delivery

The closure of libraries around the world has impacted document delivery because we rely on other institutions to supply material beyond our own collections.

Ex Libris’ RapidILL community, which is predominantly based in North America, recently offered us the opportunity to join a special temporary COVID-19 group within RapidILL for electronic articles and book chapters at no cost or ongoing commitment.  This means we have access to electronic holdings from about 130 institutions around the world. This has helped the document delivery service to continue a high rate of request fulfillment despite restrictions with some of our traditional suppliers.

Reading Lists

Reading Lists continue to be used by Curtin students to enhance their studies through easy discoverability and accessibility to electronic Curtin Library resources. Active student numbers have been increasing particularly in the Faculties of Business and Law, Health Sciences and Science and Engineering.

In March 2020, we recorded a record number of active students using Reading Lists:


Even though there is limited access to the Library, we have been able to maintain our “digitisation” service for Reading List items by accepting scans from teaching staff directly into the Reading List software. This has enabled teaching staff to get these resources to students while ensuring compliance with copyright provisions.

Though the current environment is challenging, we’re doing our best to make sure staff and students get the resources they need for study, teaching and research.

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Our new Research Data Management guide

By Curtin Library 12 May 2020 News & events No Comments »

The Library’s Research Data team has recently released a revamped Research Data Management guide – one of our most popular study and research guides.

Research Data Management guide

This guide provides advice around best practices and concepts in managing research data for staff and students on their research journey. The resource covers topics such as data sharing and publication, storage and access, information security, file management, research metadata capture and retention requirements.

It acts as a self-service guide for Curtin researchers, and is in many areas the only source of localised advice at Curtin. In addition, it’s a helpful reference in navigating a range of Curtin systems and departments.

The guide provides useful guidance on the benefits of data publication, an underutilised way for researchers to gain extra citations and professional connections. It also provides an overview of the FAIR principles, a framework for sharing data with attributes that will maximise reuse and impact: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The Research Data Management guide is the first of the Curtin University library guides to be given a Creative Commons license, allowing the Curtin-created elements of the guide to be freely re-used and adapted by other institutions for their purposes. One other university already has plans to reuse the content while it is still ‘hot off the press’!

Check out the Research Data Management guide online.

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